Kentucky coach Joker Phillips said he thinks he "made Kentucky better" with the hiring of assistant coaches Rick Minter and Steve Pardue. Both coaches met with the media for the first time Saturday night since joining the team a week ago.
Phillips also said that he expected current defensive coordinator Steve Brown "to be back" even though Minter, a head coach at Cincinnati for 10 years, will be in charge of the day-to-day operations of the defense even though his official title is co-coordinator with Brown.
"Co-coordinators have been done many times," Phillips said. "Somebody has to be in charge. You can't have two guys calling it. Coach Minter is in charge and calling it and making sure the daily organization is done."
Minter, who was linebackers coach at Indiana State last season, said he was "here to bond as one" with Brown and UK's other defensive coaches and players.
"I am looking forward to working with Steve Brown. He is a classy individual," Minter said. "I am looking forward to us forming a team. The first words when I visited with the defense were, ‘Fellows, we are all in this together.'
"Titles do not mean anything to me. When Joker talked to me about joining (the staff), even when we were talking finances, I said I didn't care. I am beyond all that. I want to work for a good guy. I will work alongside Steve Brown. He has already shown me great respect. He is a great role model for our kids. I have inherited his playbook for the bowl game. There are no secrets. You try to get better, make plays, tackle in space and be the more physical team."
Pardue, a Kentucky native from Glasgow, was head coach at LaGrange (Ga.) High School the last 17 years and won three state titles. He also sent numerous players to UK.
"We wanted to hire somebody to recruit the southern part of Georgia and he also has Kentucky ties," Phillips said of Pardue. "He is a natural fit and what we are looking for. Georgia is important to us (for recruiting). We want to get more in the southern part of Georgia and he brings that to us."
Former UK coach Rich Brooks tried to hire Pardue twice with no success. He says he came this time because of Phillips, a long-time friend who shares the same beliefs, and his love for Kentucky. He started his coaching career as a head coach at Crittenden County in Marion, Ky.
He does have one regret.
"I am excited to be here. My family is a big Kentucky family," Pardue said. "My mother passed away in January and she was a huge Kentucky fan. Kentucky never lost a game in her eyes. Until the end she was a Big Blue fan. This would have been a very proud day for her."
Minter in charge, Brown not leaving
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